CHINESE BLACK VINEGAR
White rice vinegar, black rice vinegar, Chinkiang Vinegar, and red rice vinegar are the three most common forms of rice vinegar used in Chinese cookery today.
This blog focuses on Chinese black vinegar, also known as black rice vinegar, dark vinegar, Chinkiang vinegar, or Zhenjiang vinegar.
WHAT IS BLACK CHINESE VINEGAR?
Vinegar prepared from black sticky rice or normal glutinous rice is called Chinese black vinegar (zhènjing xingcù, ). It can also be made with rice, sorghum, and/or wheat in addition to rice.
It comes from the Jiangsu provincial city of Zhenjiang and has a dark, malty, rich flavor. It has a somewhat acidic flavor, less so than conventional distilled white vinegar, with a hint of sweetness.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES OF APPLICATION OF THIS?
Chinese black vinegar is a common ingredient in many Chinese dishes, including cold appetizers, braised meats and seafood, noodles, and dumplings.
It can be used to enhance the flavor of braised foods and cold appetizers and salads by enhancing their acidity and sweetness. With julienned ginger, it’s a traditional dipping sauce for soup dumplings. Also, it can be used in stir-fries to lend a bit of acidity to them.
PURCHASING AND STORING
You can find Chinkiang Vinegar or Zhenjiang Vinegar in your local Chinese grocery shop by looking for yellow labels on the bottles.
It’s also possible to buy it online, although the price will be much more. Store in a cold, dry place, such as your pantry.
For those who can’t get their hands on black vinegar, white rice vinegar/wine vinegar is a good stand-in.
While balsamic vinegar can be a last resort in a pinch, beware that some balsamic vinegar can be extremely sweet and syrupy.